As you may or may not know (I just found out a few days ago), the Amazon Rainforest has been on fire for three weeks. Why should you care? Well, I'll tell you now.
One of the most important reasons why the Amazon Rainforest is important for the rest of the globe is that it accounts for 20% of the worlds oxygen. 20 percent. Guess what, you can't live without oxygen. And at the rate we are ruining our planet, we need all the oxygen we can get. On that subject, the Amazon Rainforest actually helps slow global warming.
How? Simply speaking, having a forest that large, producing oxygen, helps slow the effects of global warming. In more detail, I'll use a quote from the Union of Concerned Scientists, "Tropical forest trees, like all green plants, take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen during photosynthesis... When trees are cut down and burned or allowed to rot, their stored carbon is released into the air as carbon dioxide. And this is how deforestation and forest degradation contribute to global warming."
Protecting the Amazon Rainforest from deforestation has many benefits in helping reduce global warming pollution. Quoting the same website, "...reducing deforestation has other benefits beyond reducing global warming pollution. Tropical forests are home to many unique species of animals and plants. Animals such as the jaguar risk extinction if we do not act to protect their tropical forest habitat. In addition, tropical forests are crucial sources of food, medicine, and clean drinking water for people in developing countries. Tropical forests help regulate regional rainfall and prevent both floods and droughts. Reducing deforestation is not only a beneficial action against global warming—it also can make important contributions to saving biodiversity and supporting sustainable development."
It is reasons like this that make the fact that the Amazon Rainforest has been burning for three weeks with no media coverage absolutely mind-boggling.
So, how can you help? Well, you can: reduce your use of paper and wood; support arts, science, and other projects that raise awareness about the Amazon through the Amazon Aid Foundation; reduce your beef consumption, or protect an acre of rainforest through the Rainforest Action Network.
Please, if you care at all about the planet that we live on, now is the time to act. We have to do something to help the planet we are living on. We have to help the animals, people, species, etc that are suffering from this tragic disaster.
If you want more information or to find ways to help the rainforest, please click any of the links in this article, or you can also look at:
The Rainforest Trust